Today’s guest picture is another from Dropscone’s highland holiday. The weather wasn’t always what he would have wished but you can’t fault the views.
We had a fine and sunny day here today so October was very welcome. The temperature is autumnal and the garden was quite soggy when we got up but it dried up nicely during the day.
I had a leisurely morning with the high spot being a visit to the Producers’ Market in the Buccleuch Centre to stock up on the necessities of life. Fresh fish and vegetables, good cheese, properly looked after meat and local honey all disappeared into my shopping bag and I pedalled home on the slow bike (solid tyre, no punctures!) in a cheery mood.
There was any amount of dead heading to do as we try and keep the flowers going as long as possible. Lillian Austin is flourishing with no help from me at all.
…and the poppies in front of the pond are standing up very well too.
I dead headed a hundred stems and then Mrs Tootlepedal went round and did all the ones that I had missed and then I went round and did the ones that she had missed. What fun we had.
She is busy doing gardening at the moment and the morning’s project was replanting an azalea in a new place as part of a border redesign. She digs these hefty shrubs up, carries them to their new home and puts them in with no help from me at all. I just stand and marvel at the results.
The morning involved coffee and a crossword too and a moment to enjoy the sparrows at the feeder.
After lunch, I had another look out of the window….
After a good deal of dithering, I finally got out the fairly speedy bike, cleaned the chain and set off for a ride.
Yesterday I had gone up the Wauchope road, turned left and and circled round to approach the town from the south. Today I went up the Wauchope road, turned right, circled round and approached the town from the north. As usual, my route choice was determined by wind direction as I always like to have a friendly wind on my way home. It is good to have a choice of two rides of almost the same distance.
I had noticed patches of bright green lichens on one particular short stretch of wall on recent rides so I stopped today to record one of them.
This colour is not common round here where the walls are usually covered in grey or brown lichens. Maybe different stone was used on this section of the wall.
A calf on the other side of the road had nothing to say on the matter.
The hills may be turning a bit brown but the cultivated grass fields are still as green as ever…
This road winds steadily uphill for most of its four miles and as it was into the wind today, I was pleased to arrive at Bailliehill….
…at the top of the hill where I turned right and followed the River Esk back to Langholm.
At Bailliehill there is a slightly mysterious pond and summerhouse.
Both pond and structure were made quite recently but I have never seen any sign of life there.
My route home wasn’t helped quite as much by the wind as I had hoped that it would be but it wasn’t hindered by it at all so I rolled along the road home at a good speed for me.
When I got back, I found that not content with shifting the azalea, Mrs Tootlepedal had continued her work of garden improvement by levelling out the path from the drive to the front lawn.
As this involved shifting and re-laying several large and heavy concrete slabs, I was distinctly impressed. The dahlias in the picture were among the plants dead headed this morning. They were all grown from seed this year but some of them are making really good looking tubers and Mrs Tootlepedal is contemplating taking some of them up and keeping them over winter.
Before I had my after-ride cup of tea, I put the speedy bike away and then got the slow bike out and pedalled down to the riverside to see what I could see there.
A very late family of ducks was swimming close to the river bank.
There were some fine clouds on the horizon…
…but nothing else came within range of my lens so I pedalled home past two fierce lions….
…and had my cup of tea.
A meal of fish and courgette fritters rounded off a good day very well.
The flowers of the day are two nasturtium caught in the damp morning….
…and the flying bird is a determined sparrow.